The Chicago Tribune wrote an obituary on life long civil libertarian and ACLU attorney Barbara O'Toole, who passed away suddenly this week. Barbara began her career with the ACLU of Illinois in 1970, working to defend free speech in numerous cases including the First Amendment case involving Neo-Nazis marching in Skokie in 1977. In more recent years and up until her death, Barbara served as a full-time volunteer, overseeing the organizations intake department. She is truly missed by the entire staff and board of the ACLU of Illinois.
Mrs. O'Toole also argued for the rights of artists to access public spaces, the rights of street musicians and others to perform on Chicago streets and the protection of controversial art, according to the Illinois ACLU.
"Barbara's quiet personality belied the tenacity with which she defended freedom of speech and expression," Harvey Grossman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said in a statement. "Her achievements in many groundbreaking cases as well as the enduring values she inculcated in young lawyers and student interns over the decades are a tribute to her life commitment to individual liberty."